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Sony VPL-VW665ES 4K Projector: Hardware Tour 2

Posted on December 18, 2015 by Art Feierman
VPL-VW665ES PROJECTOR - HARDWARE TOUR, Page 2:  Remote Control, 4K Media Player

VPL-VW665ES Remote Control

The Sony VW665ES comes with the usual Sony remote (they all look about the same, with minor button differences).  This one is exactly the same as the one that comes with the VW600ES.  It's long, and relatively narrow, has a curved, grooved back that allows it to fit well in the hand.

Top right has the green power button.  It's the usual:  Press once to power up (which takes about a minute), press twice to power off.  Next to it is the input button, which by pressing more than once toggles you though the choices.   To it's left is the backlight button.  The Sony remote control - RM-PJ24 - has a blue led backlight.  Personally, I think it could be a little brighter, but with a little squinting, I can read the text on the buttons in a fully darkened room.

Moving south, next is a matrix of three rows by three, which serve up the eight pre-set color (picture) modes, and the User mode.

Underneath those, there are three larger buttons across, for lens control.  From the left is Power Focus, then Power Zoom, and Power Lens Shift.  They all work in conjunction with the up/down/left/right navigation buttons.

Speaking of the navigation buttons, the four arrow keys, arranged in a round formation, surround an enter button in the middle.  Three curved buttons are outside of the navigation ones.   They are Position - which is the Lens Memory area, Reset (don't worry, you have to confirm before Reset does its thing), and the one at the bottom is  the Menu button.

Down below navigation on the remote, is another 3 x 3 matrix of buttons. This time the buttons provide direct access to the key feature menus.  From top left to right, then 2nd, 3rd rows:

Aspect Ratio, MotionFlow, and 3D
Color Space, Color Temp, and Reality Creation
Gamma Correction, Contrast Enhancer, and Advanced (dynamic) Iris.

Three to go:  Each of those is a rocker button:

Sharpness (+/-), Brightness (+/-), and Contrast (+/-) (from left to right)

A very well thought out remote with very good range.  My only two complaints - already mentioned is that the blue backlight could be slightly brighter - or better yet, and easier to read color, such as orange or a soft yellow white, with black text.  The other is that I do prefer having separate buttons for the different inputs.  Of those two issues, only the backlight is something really worth kvetching about.

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Sony FMP-X10 4K Media Player

The older VW600ES was the same price, but for a while there was a bundle with the older (round) Sony 4K Media Player.  There's a newer "open" Sony media player, that anyone can buy for any use - the original X1 only worked with Sony products.  At $699, the newer FMP-X10 at this moment - pre-Christmas 2015, is perhaps your best shot at getting 4K content to view until Blu-ray UHD starts shipping in a couple of months.  You might want to check out Ron's blog about 4K UHD Players, and Blu-ray UHD Update  It looks like about 100 full length movie titles are available as I write this, plus plenty of other 4K content.  (Handy isn't it, that Sony owns a major movie studio:  Sony Pictures!)

While the Media player is not part of the package, I thought some info on it would be helpful.  Certainly, I use mine. For real, I just downloaded one of the newest additions to their 4K library - The Fifth Element - which is a favorite among AV types for demos.    I've got movies including some Men In Black and The Amazing Spiderman series in 4K, that I've downloaded as well.

The Sony 4K Media Player - the FMP-X10, has a power switch, USB and an SD card slot, along with indicator lights for network and hard drive, along the front and sides.  The back has a recessed area with HDMI outputs, and a jack to plug in the DC power from the included power brick.  I have the same complaint about the media player as the VW665ES:  There's no separate Digital Audio Output, which would come in handy for a lot of setups.  There is a second HDMI for audio output, but that isn't a cure all that solves the issue for some folks who don't have HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 switching.

In my theater, as an example, I had to output HDMI from the Media Player to the switcher, so I could extract the digital audio output and feed it directly into my audio system.  Well, if you can afford this projector, you can certainly afford a couple of switch boxes as needed.  Make sure that the switcher can handle the 4K HDMI.  Ultimately we want HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 compatibility.

So, that's the major bummer!  Other than that, I've successfully uploaded  video content to the player's internal drive from USB in addition to using the download service.   BTW the download service is not fast at this time.  It is not designed to stream in real time.  It can take many hours sometimes to download a movie.

What it's all about is working with Sony's 4K download service, which I started using more than a year ago.

Back then I reported that there were probably 20 movies and several dozen assorted other pieces of content, and that I expected the content to grow quickly.  For example last year, Sony had just released Ender's Game to Blu-ray, and they have it on their 1080p service, but I was disappointed that I couldn't download and watch in 4K.  Now I can.  The CGI is impressive.  Ender's Game is one of my all time favorite sci-fi books.  The movie's pretty good but a bit shallow - good for kids, but doesn't begin to do the book justice.

Getting the Media Player up and running isn't too complicated, as Sony provides a very respectable step by step setup guide.   I did have to update an app, but they anticipated that as well.

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